AMA Session With Kunal Shah

NextBigWhat
3 min readSep 26, 2016

NextBigWhat AMAs aim to bring together the entire startup+geek+investor community. AMAs are held on www.nextbigwhat.com every Friday from 4 pm to 6 pm.

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Here are a few QnA’s from our #AskMeAnything session with Kunal Shah.

Q. What next after Freecharge?
A
. I don’t know. Maybe sharpen the axe.

Q. What is the key factor that you decided to join with Snapdeal? Have you tried to approach any other players?
A.
We never approached any players. We were sought after by many.We picked Snapdeal as they were a more logical fit.

Q. You are a Non Techie. Do you think that has helped you in building the business?
A
. I am a techie. I just don’t code (I did for a while). Without understanding consumer behavior, you can’t go too far. Learn human behavior — Your employees, investors, customers are all humans. How can you win if you don’t get the basics?

Q. With so many insights on consumer psychology, don’t you think you are better suited to lead Snapdeal?
A.
Founder of a company knows what’s best for the company.

Q. How to go about scaling up teams? How did you do it?
A.
Trust and empowerment. We always hired the best and trusted them completely and inspired them to stretch their limits.

Q. KPIs you regularly monitored at FreeCharge.
A.
Consumer NPS and Retention

Q. What were the goals set in the first year of Freecharge and how much time did it take to achieve them?
A.
We always aimed to do more daily transactions than the previous day. We almost always achieved it.

Q. When will Indian consumers pay for services?
A.
When the time they save is more valuable than the money they spent for saving time. (hint: higher income)

Q. Do you think/know PayTm is ahead of Freecharge for P2P Payment + Recharge?
A.
99% percent of all transactions in India are cash. Who is ahead and behind is an immaterial conversation before a significant market moves digital.

Q. Do you think Indian startup ecosystem is “worshipping” the wrong idols? Are we celebrating too early?
A.
YES. We are celebrating fund raises. That’s like celebrating a mountaineer finding food while climbing Mount Everest. A celebration of wrong things and wrong milestones makes the Indian founders chase wrong metrics. Profit/Growth > PR/Awards

Q. When will free charge become profitable?
A.
Whenever we want. But we would rather chase growth. We are unit economics positive company.

Q. How do you think self-driving cars will play out in India over the next decade or so?
A.
More jobs will move back to US which came to India. When 10M drivers become jobless in US, jobs from India may move back to US which were earlier outsourced.

Q. What’s the funda behind b11 :) It’s in your email id as well as twitter handle.
A.
An Auto-recommendation that Hotmail made in 2000 when I created a new email address. Stayed with it. No logic.

Q. You have made tons of money in exit. Why not launch a fund?
A.
After reaching the top of the Maslow pyramid, you unlock freedom. So currently enjoying that for a bit.

Q. What are you reading? How do you decide which book to read?
A.
Inevitable by Kevin Kelly. I pick a book after 2–3 people who I admire, recommend it.

If you wish to read all the questions and answers from the AMA session with Kunal Shah, then kindly visit https://www.nextbigwhat.com/t/ama-with-kunal-shah/3077

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